Over the past year I have had a lot of pain in my right ear, ever since I had my teeth removed following an osteomyelitis infection in my jaw. I now use dentures. A few weeks later I started getting ear pain.
ENT specialists could not see a problem, but a tmj specialist did an icat scan and said my tmj joints were the culprit. He modified my dentures and the pain settled down a lot.
Then last week I was eating and I bit hard on something and the ear pain came back. The jaw muscle in front of the ear is also very tender. Since then it is uncomfortable to eat, talk, sleep, and my right ear is very painful and feels kinda blocked.
Is this typical with a tmj problem, and how can I relieve it again?
I would go back to the tmj dentist and let him check your dentures again and your joints. Its possible they are not 100% right for you yet and you may have strained a ligament or muscle during chewing. It could also be that your gums have now settled down or shrunk some or gone back to a normal size and its time for the denture to be corrected accordingly.
Yes thank you. I have just made an appointment to see him on Monday afternoon. Hopefully he will know what is going on. I am pretty sure I have just irritated the jaw joint and it is nothing wrong with my ear itself. Although I do sometimes have a hard time believing that when my ear hurts bad, and a doctor says "but the pain is not coming from your ear!"
Do you know how long something like this takes to settle down once it has been irritated? It is starting to irritate me a bit now.
It varies from person to person - have you noticed if it eases up if you do not move your mouth a lot to speak - like does it feel better for a bit in the morning when you first wake up - does it get progressively worse during the day - or is it constant? have you tried not wearing the denture a bit to see if that has any affect? If its just a sprained ligament or strained muscle usually you should start seeing a gradual improvment within 3-5 days of the "injury" - unless the injury is not allowed to heal or is aggravated or intereferred with in some way.
Ah yes I have experimented a bit. It is there most of the time, but it tends to be a bit better in the morning, and starts to get worse when I start to talk and eat etc. I think when I am working I also clench my teeth a bit without noticing and that does not help. I have tried taking out the denture and that increases the pain I think, because it feels like my jaw can not find a comfortable resting position. I am starting to think it may be the denture causing the problem a bit because i have a few denture sores again under the bottom plate and that does change my bite a bit because it becomes uncomfortable. If I remember correctly, I think a similar thing may have happened the last time I had sores.
I am also under some added stress right now, because I have to move to another country again in a couple of weeks, and I am not too sure what to expect. Although I should be used to it by now because I have already lived in so many different countries. Hahaha....